No…I’m not providing a long-overdue update on my treatment. I’ll get around to that one of these days. I’ve yet to share some wonderful...even spiritual...experiences from my December birthday, as well as the news about grandchild number 3, due in June.
What’s finally prompting me to write is my reaction to reading a small piece on page 2 of yesterday’s Union Tribune (San Diego.)
We all have our opinions of what is wrong with our health-care system, and I’ve tended to practice old-fashioned caution about voicing my political opinion, lest I offend friends. And though I KNOW it’s too easy to point the finger at pharmaceutical companies, I’m still shaking my head after reading yesterday’s article, which covered the practice of “pay-for-delay.”
“Pay-for-delay” is a practice whereby a manufacturer of name-brand drugs pays competing manufacturers to withhold marketing of generic equivalent meds, thereby allowing the manufacturer of the name-brand drug to continue to charge name-brand prices past the expiration of the patent. And the company who might otherwise be selling the generic med is able to make millions, for a drug they don't even sell...all while avoiding manufacturing and marketing costs.
Any of you ever taken Cipro? Well, evidently the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next week against Bayer Corp, the manufacturer of Cipro. Bayer is alledged to have paid competitors $400 million to keep generic versions of Cipro off the market. According to a link I found (after searching “patent expiration Cipro”), Bayer’s patent on Cipro expired in December of 2003.
Even if your meds are covered by insurance, keeping the prices of meds artificially inflated by these back-door deals comes out of ALL of our pockets. In fact, according to an on-line article in The Washington Post (7/29/10), the Federal Trade Commission estimates that the practice of pay-for-delay costs consumers over $3 Billion ANNUALLY.
I watch the news…how could I have missed this story before? Are any of you familiar with this practice?? I’m sure hoping we’ll be hearing shortly that this practice has been officially banned.